Union Bancaire Privée is to buy the Luxembourg-based wealth management business Danske Bank International just days after the parent company Danske Bank faced police charges over two potential violations of the European Union's market abuse rules.
The undisclosed UBP deal is subject to regulatory approvals with a timeline to complete in Q4 2021.
UBP estimated that with the acquisition under its belt it will hold almost 33bn CHF (€30bn) in assets under management in Luxembourg, where it has had a presence since 2002 through its asset management and private banking arms.
This transaction confirms our ambition to increase our footprint in Luxembourg, which became UBP’s European hub a few years ago."
Headquartered in Geneva, UBP employs more than 1,800 staff in over 20 locations worldwide.
UBP chief executive Guy de Picciotto said: "This transaction confirms our ambition to increase our footprint in Luxembourg, which became UBP's European hub a few years ago.
"It is undoubtedly an opportunity to strengthen our growth strategy on the Nordics with a seasoned team of bankers and investment professionals, and to further enhance our local leadership team."
Glenn Söderholm, head of personal & business customers at Danske Bank, added: "With UBP, we are confident that we have found the right partner for our customers, a partner who will continue to meet their individual needs with the highest possible quality, and at the same time be a good employer for our skilled and dedicated employees."
Union Bancaire Privée also announced in the same week that it is buying Banco Comercial Português's Swiss private bank, Millennium Banque Privée - BCP.
The share deal is subject to the approval of relevant regulatory bodies and expected to complete in Q4 of 2021.
These deals come against the backdrop of Denmark's biggest bank Danske Bank facing preliminarily charges by the Danish state prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime with two potential violations of the European Union's market abuse rules for inadequate monitoring of transactions in financial instruments and market manipulation as a result of certain self-matching trades.
The bank said in a statement that the prosecutor's decision to press preliminary charges against Danske Bank follows the criminal complaint filed by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority to it as communicated by Danske Bank on 10 June 2020.
Philippe Vollot, chief compliance officer, Danske Bank, said: "We will of course cooperate with SØIK and share relevant knowledge and materials in relation to the case, which we take very seriously.
The bank did not have adequate market monitoring in place, and we have therefore since 2019 made significant investments to strengthen our trade surveillance, our systems and controls and have also implemented strengthened pre-trade controls. We have not seen any indication of intentional wrongdoing or any harm to customers or market participants."
Danske Bank further said it cooperates fully with the authorities and has no further comments to the ongoing investigation.
Denmark's Financial Supervisory Authority raised its concerns last year and the bank is also facing other investigations in the US and Europe in connection with an ongoing money-laundering case.